During the Vietnam War, my part-time job was correspondent for the United States Information Agency (USIA), and one assignment portended today’s global power alignment.
The assignment was to interview ten ministers from various African nations to gain their impressions of a trip they were concluding in the United States. The article would be translated for their nation’s newspapers after review by Washington officials.
My recollection was a 500-word report to be sent Western Union to USIA headquarters (@ $1 a word). I was paid $30.
The ministers had gathered at International House, Chestnut St., Philadelphia, and some were dressed American-style and others were in native garb.
I introduced myself as a writer from USIA and then the room filled with shouts.
“You are not USIA! You are CIA…” Continue reading →
That buy your green card pitch by Kushner’s sister in China renews controversy over visas for the rich
If you had $300 during the Civil War you could avoid that first Draft by just paying the dough and walking away. No money, you could go to jail or possibly become one of the 620,000 Americans killed on the battlefields.
When it comes to citizenship, the rich don’t need to climb that wall or swim that Rio Grande, now they just put up money, $500,000 or more to be exact, to invest in some project in the U.S. and agree that somehow that will create ten new jobs.
Some 85% of all these “investment citizens” are from China. The deal is called EB-5 Visa, and not only can you become an American, but so can the wife and children – all for the same price.
By this criterion, anyone with enough money can buy citizenship. Poor folks need not apply.
The program was extended last week by President Donald Trump, even though he said he had qualms about it during the campaign last year. The day after he signed the extension, the Kushner organization was in Beijing, selling investments in the luxury apartment building, One Journal Square, that is set to be built next year in Jersey City. A brochure blasted:
“Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”
While most eyes are on a surprising election in America today, fascist China has announced plans to strip its 1.4 billion residents of their freedom of expression on the Internet.
Once a Socialist, then a Communist nation, China today is a plutocracy that coordinates private corporations and government entities, brainwashing its population, forcing them to “think properly” or face institutional retribution.
This means that every member of the government and media – all teachers, authors and politicians – follow the same directives. Collusion is the order of the day, although hidden from the public. It’s somewhat like the Press giving the questions in advance to the favored candidate, but on a grander scale.
Despite propaganda here, China is doing very well, primarily from gobbling up American factories and seizing American jobs, thanks to cooperation from leaders of the corporate/government combine in this country. For example, lifespan of the Continue reading →
Killed in Action
Wounded in Action
Missing in Action
Prisoners of War
President Barack Obama has lifted the decades-long U.S. arms embargo against Vietnam, allowing sales of deadly weapons to a government that killed or wounded more than 200,000 Americans.
The final surrender is very good for big business, lobbyists and campaign contributors to politicians. The decision is also a desecration of American lives lost, soldiers Continue reading →
China has destroyed our factories and jobs because of its unfair import VAT policy, not just currency manipulation
Almost 80% of the Senate (78-20) just voted for a measure that would cite foreign nations for manipulating the value of their currency, although the enforcement of any penalties was not and will not be addressed. But the real purpose of the vote was to give Democrats license to vote for Fast Track authority without seeming to be enemies of the middle class worker and the small businesses of the United States. The illusion will probably stick, as many hail this “bipartisan” action as the way to markedly reduce unfair trade practices – particularly by China.
Even the Washington Post, owned by Amazon’s CEO, explained: “… economists say such manipulation is no longer prevalent and that the longtime poster child of currency manipulation — China — has gradually stopped doing it.” So much for reality, when politicians have a chance to curry favor with big multinational benefactors for campaign cash and future lush (two martini lunch, anyone?) private sector jobs.
More on swine flu battle in China. This is from NY Times:
By EDWARD WONG
Published: November 11, 2009
CHANGGANG, China — Few farmers in this southern village gave much thought to the epidemic that had begun spreading rapidly in the United States early this summer until the authorities sealed its 100 residents off from the outside world for about a week. It turned out that a visitor from California had shown symptoms of the swine flu virus, or H1N1, when he arrived for a funeral.
The village of Changgang was quarantined for about a week. Quarantines and medical detentions are among the aggressive measures that Chinese officials have taken to slow the transmission of H1N1, which quickly spread worldwide after being diagnosed first in North America.
To protests from around the world, China isolated entire planeloads of people entering the country if anyone on the plane exhibited flulike symptoms. Local authorities canceled school classes at the slightest hint of the disease and ordered students and teachers to stay home. China was virtually alone in taking such harsh measures, which continued throughout most of the summer.
Now, Chinese and foreign health officials say that some of those contested measures — more easily adopted by an authoritarian state — may have helped slow the spread of the disease in the world’s most populous country. China has not had to cope with a crush of cases, and it began administering a vaccine for swine flu in early September, the first country to do so.
Foreign officials also say that China demonstrated an unusual openness to sharing information about H1N1 with its citizens and other governments, in contrast to its secretive approach to the near pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, a few years ago.
That is not to say that China has been spared. On Tuesday, Health Ministry officials reported an “explosive” growth of H1N1 on the mainland because of the onset of winter, with 5,000 new cases in the previous three days pushing the total to more than 59,000.
At least 30 people have died here after contracting H1N1.
Exact data on the virus are hard to pin down; many more cases are suspected than confirmed, and countries often use different methods to identify cases. Still, the indications in China are much more positive than those in India. Like China, India has more than a billion people, many living in poor, rural conditions, and was exposed to the virus after it had been identified in the West. The Indian Health Ministry has reported 505 deaths.
The United States, where the virus was spreading before it was identified in the spring, has reported more than two million cases and about 4,000 deaths in a population of 300 million.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been playing games with the press by changing the way it has reported Swine Flu deaths and hospitalizations. The impression given was that swine flu is nowhere near as dangerous as other countries believe – nations that used quarantines, for example.
The original reporting of swine flu estimated all cases. That was then changed to hospitalized cases. In early September deaths and hospitalizations prior to 9/1/09 were excluded from reports in a “reset.” Recently, most of the hospitalized cases were eliminated from totals because suddenly they were not applicable.
The truth can sometimes even be found in reports by the Associated Press, as the following dispatch reveals:
LONDON – Health experts say extraordinary measures against swine flu — most notably quarantines imposed by China, where entire planeloads of passengers were isolated if one traveler had symptoms — have failed to contain the disease. Despite initially declaring success, Beijing now acknowledges its swine flu outbreak is much larger than official numbers show.
China’s official count of nearly 70,000 reported illnesses with 53 deaths is dwarfed by estimates of millions of cases with nearly 4,000 deaths in the United States, a nation with about a third of China’s population. Dr. Michael O’Leary, WHO’s top representative in China, says there has been a dramatic spike in Chinese swine flu cases recently and those reported by the government are only “minimum numbers.”
“We have new cases occurring all the time,” he told The Associated Press last week. “There’s always more deaths than we could possibly know about.”
So, the argument is that the United States has about 80 times as many swine flu deaths as China, which has four times the population, and that means that the Chinese authorities are hiding the deaths – not that quarantines work?
We have made no effort on a federal level to contain this disease, and it has been the CDC hiding deaths by misleading the press and changing report methods that is at blame. It is reasonable to say our government has caused unnecessary deaths, and the government of China has acted for the safety of its citizens.
The question is why? The only answer is protecting the economy from the results of less shopping because people are concerned about catching a sometimes fatal disease. Remember “Jaws?” Don’t close the beaches because it will hurt tourism.
This news today from Wall Street Journal:
BAGHDAD (Dow Jones)–A consortium of BP PLC (BP.LN) and China’s CNPC Tuesday won the contract for Rumaila oil field – the largest oil field in Iraq and one of the largest in the world, the Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said. The consortium had been seeking $3.99 remuneration for each extra barrel of oil produced but after last-minute negotiations Tuesday morning accepted the Oil Ministry’s terms of $2 a barrel. The companies had bid to increase output in Rumaila to 2.8 million barrels a day. The field is currently producing 1.1 million barrels a day and is estimated to have reserves of around 17 billion barrels.
This is the first contract awarded in Iraq’s first oil and gas field tender open to international companies in nearly three decades. -By Hassan Hafidh, Dow Jones Newswires
Few of the readers of this blog recall the 100,000 troops from China who assisted the United States in holding down the violence in Iraq during recent years. Readers don’t remember because there are no troops to recall, no aid for the cause, but now they reap the profits.
Oddly, the Chinese and British Petroleum (BP) were willing to accept less than a few dollars a barrel in payments, while U.S. oil companies were looking to get in the mid $20s. Sounds like American oil companies were way too greedy in their demands. What were they thinking with such ripoff bids? They must have thought they were bidding for rights in U.S. national parks or offshore.
In reviewing the fact that most bids were refused for oil development today (except BP and China) there is an interesting analysis from the Houston Post, in a town where oil firms are divine:
As much the licensing round’s cheerleader and key driver, al-Shahristani has also been its scapegoat. His critics have pointed to Iraq’s inability to even reach its prewar production levels as evidence that he has failed in his job. Others gripe that the bidding round will open the door for an economic occupation of the country at a time when it is pulling away from the U.S. military presence that many in Iraq likened to military occupation.
The poor showing could further strengthen critics’ arguments that he put too much emphasis on the bidding round while ignoring easy repairs to the sector that could have been carried out over the past couple of years.
The minister, however, has insisted he was working for the country’s best interest.
Iraqi officials have estimated that based on crude oil at $50 per barrel, the companies could earn around $16 billion in total. Iraq, meanwhile, would get over $1.7 trillion. As part of the contracts, the companies have to provide so-called “soft-loan” signature bonuses to the government that total about $2.6 billion.
The company response to the bidding sends a clear signal to Iraq, said analysts.
It says “the companies will still be there, but they’ve made it clear what their baseline is, and that they can’t go into the red even to get access to Iraqi oil,” said Ciszuk. “The risks are just too great.”